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Business digest: Swiss cash again

Swiss energy group BKW FMB Energy has acquired a 33% stake in Fortore Wind, the newly established wind division of Italian renewable energy developer and power generator Fortore Energia.

The aim of the partnership, says BKW FMB, is to increase Fortore's capacity in the Italian market from a current level of roughly 140 MW to about 600 MW by 2016. BKW FMB says more than EUR1 billion will be invested to meet that goal. Once the agreement is approved by the Italian antitrust authority, the partners will jointly build and operate the wind farms.

Fortore has been active to date in the leading Italian wind region of Apulia and development efforts will almost entirely be concentrated in this region, although it is also possible the partnership could be involved with a small amount of capacity in the adjacent Campania region. For BKW FMB, the agreement follows on the heels of a partnership formed in April with German renewable energy developer Juwi to build and operate some 200 MW of wind farms at various German sites by 2015.

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